Napoleon, Defiance & Western

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The Napoleon, Defiance and Western Railway (ND&W) was established by Pioneer Railcorp as a part of their Michigan Southern (MSO) subsidiary. The line was purchased from the Maumee and Western (MAW) in December of 2012.

The mainline is 53 miles long, running between Woodburn, IN and Liberty Center, OH with a branch running South from Cecil, OH and interchanges with Norfolk Southern at Woodburn, IN and CSX at Defiance, OH. Their office and base of operations are located in Defiance, OH.

The lines trackage is of Wabash heritage aside from the branch south from Cecil which was once the Cinncinati Northern Mainline and was a part of the New York Central System via the Big Four. Prior to the ND&W the line was operated the Norfolk & Western, Norfolk Southern, Indiana Hi-Rail, and Maumee & Western.


Operations of the line are on an as needed basis with crews picking up wherever they left off the previous day. Generally the Defiance to Napoleon section operates in some form Monday-Friday with some runs on Saturday. CSX local Y101 drops off and picks up cars at the interchange in Defiance three times a week, normally Monday/Wednesday/Friday. Service between Woodburn and Defiance is more sporadic, seeing operations 2-3 times a week with NS local L91 bringing and taking cars to and from the interchange at Woodburn as needed. The Napoleon to Liberty Center portion is used for car storage only. If you want to find the ND&W, the line is within sight of US 24 nearly the entire way.

ND&W Radio Frequencies


ND&W Locomotive Roster

Number Model Year Built History Paint Notes
PREX 105 GP9 1957 Ex-GETY 105/GBRY 105/DV 105/HESR 105/CV 4548/GTW 4548. Gettysburg Railroad, Red & Yellow. Listed for sale.
PREX 2026 GP20u 1961 Ex-ALAB 2026/BNSF 2026/ATSF 3038/ATSF 1138. ATSF, Blue and Yellow.
PREX 2045 GP20u 1961 Ex-ATSF 3064/ATSF 1164. Pioneer w/o logo.
PREX 3001 GP20u 1960 Ex-ATSF 3001/ATSF 1101. ATSF, Blue and Yellow.
PREX 3054 GP20u 1961 Ex-ASRY 3054/ATSF 3054/ATSF 3154/ATSF 1154. Pioneer w/ Pioneer Lines Logo.

Former ND&W Locomotives

Number Model Year Built History Paint Notes
PREX 107 NW2R 1939 Ex-BN 5/BN 454/GN 106/GN 5306. Patched BN Green. Now in Grand Junction, TN.
PREX 1601 GP16 1951 Ex-ALAB 1601/CSX 1786/ACL 233. Pioneer w/o logo. Left property in Oct. 2019 for E&W Monon Division.
PREX 1603 GP16 1955 Ex-CSX 1742/SBD 4642/SAL 1915. Pioneer w/o logo. Left property in April 2020 for MSO.
PREX 1606 GP16 1956 Ex-KJRY 1606/CSX 1714/SBD 4614/SCL 4614/SAL 1972. Pioneer w/o logo. Left property for E&W Argos Division.

ND&W Customers

  • From East to West.
  • Former customers on the line with trackage still into them include several Ag businesses located in Woodburn, Antwerp, Jewell and Liberty Center as well as a small factory in Defiance that has a portable ramp and has loaded boxcars in the recent past.
Customer Location Company Description Type of Railcar Notes
RailTech Boutet Napoleon, OH Railroad Track Welding Supplies Covered Hoppers Past customer with potential for service again.
Interstate Cold Storage Napoleon, OH Cold Storage Warehouse Refrigerated Boxcars
Cloverleaf Cold Storage Napoleon, OH Dry Warehouse Boxcars
Farmers Produce Napoleon, OH Produce Warehouse Boxcars Active shipper?
Advanced Drainage Systems Napoleon, OH Plastics Pipe Manufacturer Covered Hoppers
Oldcastle Infrastructure Napoleon, OH Building Products Covered Hoppers
Republic Mills Okolona, OH Animal Feed Mill Covered Hoppers
Jewell Grain Jewell, OH Grain Elevator Covered Hoppers Inactive.
Johns Manville Defiance, OH Building Products Covered Hoppers Downtown factory.
LaFarge Cement Paulding, OH Cement Manufacturer Covered Hoppers/Tank Cars
Systech Environmental Paulding, OH Environmental Recycling Services Covered Hoppers/Tank Cars
Mercer Landmark Antwerp, OH Grain Elevator Covered Hoppers Active shipper?
AG Plus Woodburn, IN Fertilizer Supplier Tank Cars
AG Plus Woodburn, IN Grain Elevator Covered Hoppers Active shipper?

ND&W Timetable

Milepost Location Description
79.0 Woodburn, IN NS Interchange
71.5 Antwerp, OH
63.9 Cecil, OH Branch line south towards Paulding, OH
51.3 Defiance, OH CSX Interchange
45.7 Jewell, OH
41.6 Okolona, OH
36.0 Napoleon, OH
29.0 Liberty Center, OH End of line

ND&W Links

Back to Indiana Shortlines

Back to Ohio Shortlines

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